Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Old Switcheroo

Recently on May 14th Oceana hosted an event at the National Aquarium addressing the concerns about the growing problems of fish/seafood mislabeling amongst restaurants, wholesalers, and retailers alike.  The event pitted fillets from similar looking fish against each other and had guests try to figure out which fillet was the real McCoy from the line-up.  Oceana is going to great efforts to ensure that this growing issue is brought to the publics' attention.  When ordering beef, you usually don't have to worry which animal it is actually coming from.  You should be able to purchase seafood with the same confidence.

Oceana fish display at National Aquarium
BlackSalt Fish Market supplied the fillets that were being used by Oceana for the event;  snapper, fluke, wild salmon, farm salmon, halibut, and hake.  Some guests had no problem identifying the correct fish, but there were many that had trouble doing so.  This only highlighted the point that Oceana was there to make;  Seafood fraud is a real issue and it can happen to anyone, especially when you consider that cooked and prepared fish loses its identity even more once it hits your plate.  Mislabeled seafood allows for illegal fish to hit markets and makes it difficult for customers to make the correct, environmental choices that they wish to support.

Estimates show that mislabeling for snapper fillets occurs as high as 77% and in general, seafood mislabeling ranges from 25-70% in different areas.  You can protect yourself by shopping at reliable seafood markets, such as BlackSalt, where fish comes in on the round (whole fish) and are butchered on site.  It is much harder to mislabel product that is still in its natural state.  The more processed the product, the easier it is to disguise its origin and source.  Please look into the link below.  You will find helpful information provided by Oceana on how to identify mislabeled products and what you can do to combat this problem.  


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